Vermont Humanities

Vermont Reads 2024: Gather

Teenaged boy in blue jacket with black hair with a large brown dog by a fire in the woods
Vermont Reads

Book cover of Gather by Kenneth M. Cadow, with a white dog on a colorful cover that depicts fall leavesIan is a resourceful teenager from rural Vermont. He isn’t supposed to have a dog, but his adopted pup Gather soon becomes a good friend. Although he hasn’t yet finished high school, Ian works hard to take care of his mother, who is trying to overcome her addiction to opioids. In between classes and other responsibilities, Ian helps his family make ends meet by fixing things for neighbors and working at a sawmill off the books. Sadly, he needed to quit the school’s basketball team to support his family.

Above all, Ian wants his family to remain on the land where they have lived for generations. But after a tragedy, he and Gather leave Vermont. Living on the run, Ian draws on his well-honed survival skills to care for himself and his dog. At the same time, a community of folks come together to try to provide a way home for Ian and Gather.

For the 22nd year of the Vermont Reads program, we invite Vermont communities to plan projects centered around Gather and its themes of rural life, resilience, class differences, addiction and recovery, housing and food insecurity, a deep relationship to the land, and the power of community.

The start date for Vermont Reads 2024: Gather is July 1, 2024. Applications for projects will be accepted through June 30, 2025.

For Vermont Reads hosts

In addition to up to 75 free copies of the book, we are offering each Vermont Reads host organization one free facilitated discussion of Gather, led by one of our trained facilitators. And hosts can book up to three free Speakers Bureau talks related to the themes in the book.

New this year! We will offer grants of up to $500 to Vermont Reads hosts to extend their programming around Gather.

Visit the For Vermont Reads Hosts page

Black and white image of a wooden structure in the Vermont woods

Gather is about gathering together resources, people, and love. Kenneth M. Cadow tells a story about finding value in what—and who—might be easily overlooked.


National Book Foundation Judges

More about the book

Gather is the first young adult novel by Kenneth Cadow, who drew upon his 20 years of working with middle and high school students as a teacher and administrator in rural Vermont to write this debut novel. Cadow was selected as one of five finalists for the prestigious National Book Award in young people’s literature for Gather, which was chosen from nearly 350 publisher submissions.

More about Gather and Kenneth Cadow

Upcoming Events

To support Vermont Reads 2024 we’ll host a series of public events, featuring in-person and online discussions and presentations around the book’s themes, including visits to Vermont towns by the author in the fall of 2024 and the spring of 2025.

Vermont Reads Events

Live Event

Vermont Reads: Make Paper Lanterns with Radiate Art Space

Richmond Free Library and Radiate Art Space are excited to offer a special craft featuring this year’s Vermont Reads book, Last Night at the Telegraph Club.
Join us to create your own paper lantern like Lily and her family would have lit at the Lantern Festival concluding their Lunar New Year celebration.

Black and white photo from Vermont Lesbian and Gay Pride march in 1983
Live Event

Stories from the Vermont Queer Archives

Objects such as banners, T-shirts, and buttons in the Vermont Queer Archives at the Pride Center of Vermont reflect currents and changes in the lives of Vermont’s LGBTQ+ community. Meg Tamulonis, volunteer curator of the Archives, discusses how these objects mark various milestones, from Pride events to legal rulings, and considers why some parts of the queer community aren’t well-represented in the Archives.

Silhouette pen-and-ink drawing of the historical lesbian couple Charity and Sylvia
Live Event

Comics and Queerness in Vermont and Beyond

Vermont Cartoonist Laureate Tillie Walden presents a look at the intersection of indie comics with queer identity through her many graphic novels—from science fiction to memoir to historical retelling. Explore process and power through visual narrative and learn why comics are relevant to Vermonters and beyond.

Live Event

Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era

What happened in Vermont when the anti-Communist fear known as the “Red Scare” swept the country? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Rick Winston, author of the book “Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era,” explores some forgotten history as we see how a small, rural “rock-ribbed Republican” state with a historically libertarian streak handled the hysteria of the time.

Vermont Reads Supporters

Vermont Reads 2024 is presented with support from The Trout Lily Foundation, the J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundation, and the Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation.

Vermont Humanities*** March 6, 2023